Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
Overclockers UK Custom Built PC 1 YEAR Use Review Verdict - Does it Still Work? - 16th Oct 21
Altonville Mine Tours Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 16th Oct 21
How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
The Only way to Crush Inflation (not stocks) - 14th Oct 21
Why "Losses Are the Norm" in the Stock Market - 14th Oct 21
Sub Species Castle Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 14th Oct 21
Which Wallet is Best for Storing NFTs? - 14th Oct 21
Ailing UK Pound Has Global Effects - 14th Oct 21
How to Get 6 Years Life Out of Your Overclocked PC System, Optimum GPU, CPU and MB Performance - 13th Oct 21
The Demand Shock of 2022 - 12th Oct 21
4 Reasons Why NFTs Could Be The Future - 12th Oct 21
Crimex Silver: Murder Most Foul - 12th Oct 21
Bitcoin Rockets In Preparation For Liftoff To $100,000 - 12th Oct 21
INTEL Tech Stock to the MOON! INTC 2000 vs 2021 Market Bubble WARNING - 11th Oct 21
AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Wall of Worry Meets NFPs - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Continues - 11th Oct 21
China / US Stock Markets Divergence - 10th Oct 21
Can US Save Taiwan From China? Taiwan Strait Naval Battle - PLA vs 7th Fleet War Game Simulation - 10th Oct 21
Gold Price Outlook: The Inflation Chasm Between Europe and the US - 10th Oct 21
US Real Estate ETFs React To Rising Housing Market Mortgage Interest Rates - 10th Oct 21
US China War over Taiwan Simulation 2021, Invasion Forecast - Who Will Win? - 9th Oct 21
When Will the Fed Taper? - 9th Oct 21
Dancing with Ghouls and Ghosts at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 9th Oct 21
Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
Scan Computers - Custom Build PC 6 Months Later, Reliability, Issues, Quality of Tech Support Review - 8th Oct 21
Gold and Silver: Your Financial Main Battle Tanks - 8th Oct 21
How to handle the “Twin Crises” Evergrande and Debt Ceiling Threatening Stocks - 8th Oct 21
Why a Peak in US Home Prices May Be Approaching - 8th Oct 21
Alton Towers Scarefest is BACK! Post Pandemic Frights Begin, What it's Like to Enter Scarefest 2021 - 8th Oct 21
AJ Bell vs II Interactive Investor - Which Platform is Best for Buying US FAANG Stocks UK Investing - 7th Oct 21
Gold: Evergrande Investors' Savior - 7th Oct 21
Here's What Really Sets Interest Rates (Not Central Banks) - 7th Oct 21
CISCO 2020 Dot com Bubble Stock vs 2021 Bubble Tech Stocks Warning Analysis - 6th Oct 21
Precious Metals Complex Searching for a Bottom - 6th Oct 21
FB, AMZN, NFLX, GOOG, AAPL and FANG+ '5 Waves' Speaks Volumes - 6th Oct 21
Budgies Flying Ability 10 Weeks After wings Clipped, Flight Feathers Cut Grow Back - 6th Oct 21
Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
Will China's Crackdown Send Bitcoin's Price Tumbling? - 5th Oct 21
Natural Gas News: Europe Lacks Supply, So It Turns to Asia - 5th Oct 21
Stock Market Correction: One More Spark to Light the Fire? - 5th Oct 21
Fractal Design Meshify S2, Best PC Case Review, Build Quality, Airflow etc. - 5th Oct 21
Chasing Value with Five More Biotech Stocks for the Long-run - 4th Oct 21
Gold’s Century - While stocks dominated headlines, gold quietly performed - 4th Oct 21
NASDAQ Stock Market Head-n-Shoulders Warns Of Market Weakness – Critical Topping Pattern - 4th Oct 21
US Dollar on plan, attended by the Gold/Silver ratio - 4th Oct 21
Aptorum Group - APM - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 3rd Oct 21
US Close to Hitting the Debt Ceiling: Gold Doesn’t Care - 3rd Oct 21
Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
Original Oculus VR HeadSet Rift Dev Kit v1 Before Facebook Bought Oculus - 3rd Oct 21
Microsoft Stock Valuation 2021 vs 2000 Bubble - Buy Sell or Hold Invest Analysis - 1st Oct 21
How to profit off the Acquisition spree in Fintech Stocks - 1st Oct 21
�� Halloween 2021 TESCO Shopping Before the Next Big Panic Buying! �� - 1st Oct 2
The Guide to Building a Design Portfolio Online - 1st Oct 21
BioDelivery Sciences International - BDSI - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 30th Sep 21
America’s Revolving-Door Politics Behind the Fall of US-Sino Ties - 30th Sep 21
Dovish to Hawkish Fed: Sounds Bearish for Gold - 30th Sep 21
Stock Market Gauntlet to the Fed - 30th Sep 21
Should you include ESG investments in your portfolio? - 30th Sep 21
Takeda - TAK - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 29th Sep 21
Stock Market Wishing Away Inflation - 29th Sep 21
Why Workers Are NOT Returning to Work as Lockdown's End - Wage Slaves Rebellion - 29th Sep 21
UK Fuel PANIC! Fighting at the Petrol Pumps! As Lemmings Create a New Crisis - 29th Sep 21
Gold Could See Tapering as Soon as November! - 29th Sep 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

How Fractional Reserves and Inflation Cause Economic Inequality

Economics / Economic Theory May 19, 2014 - 04:35 PM GMT

By: MISES

Economics

Andreas Marquart writes: Mises Institute:How would you translate your new book’s title into English?

Andreas Marquant: I would like to say The State Causes the Poverty It Later Claims to Solve. This is the title of my article on mises.org last December. An even better title could be The Austrian Answer to Thomas Piketty.

MI: Your book addresses the issue of income inequality. Is income inequality a bad thing?


AM: First of all, inequality and income inequality are natural phenomena because people are different. They all have different talents and that is a reason for the division of labor. It’s also a reason people work together and it’s a basic part of any complex society. Furthermore, some people are hardworking, others are more lazy. Income inequality is the logical consequence of this. The key question is: is income inequality the result of the free market and the free decisions of voluntary interacting actors; or is income inequality the result of the expansion of fiat money and the creation of money out of thin air that benefits the privileged few at the expense of many? That is, is it the result of state intervention? If the latter, case we have a problem.

MI: When caused by state intervention, what is the primary source of the problem?

AM: The primary source is fiat money inflation and the artificial increase of the money supply by bank credit. The greater fiat money inflation is, the more unjust are the consequences. The early recipients of newly-created money are the winners. The later receivers of the new money are the losers. This is certainly true when prices are clearly increasing, but the same redistribution effect also exists when money creation takes place in a situation where prices for goods and services should be falling but are not. For example, in an economy where worker productivity is increasing, prices should be falling. But even if prices remain more or less constant, a gigantic redistribution through the money printing press may be under way as workers become more productive but see no benefit from it, thanks to inflation.

But the redistribution does not only work through its effects on the prices of goods and services. Have a look at the equity markets. The money created by the FED or the European Central Bank leads to new record-breaking prices at the equity markets. If you have a big block of shares already, you can benefit when this happens, but what if you cannot afford to buy stocks because your energy bill and food expenditures are rising continuously? And often, one very important point is forgotten: the transfer of wealth is irreversible, even if the new money disappears again.

MI: In your book you contend that “good money” is important for economic prosperity. What is good money and why is this true?

AM: Commodity money is good money because it is free-market money. The money supply would be expanded by natural and free production only, through voluntary exchange. This is the reason that in the past, precious metals such as gold and silver were used as money very often. We have good money when the government has nothing to do with the monetary system and people themselves can decide what money they want to use spontaneously and without any coercion from the state.

MI: Someone who objects to your argument might say “Just look at the 19th century. That was a period with a gold standard and capitalism, and yet we saw lots of inequality at that time, didn’t we?”

AM: In that case, banks had the privilege of holding only a fractional gold reserve, which is clearly not a true gold standard. That is, they still could create money out of thin air and give it to some people, while others did not receive this money but had to deal with prices that were higher than they otherwise would have been. So there was indeed a redistribution stemming from the inflationary production of fiduciary media also in the 19th century. And in that case also, the redistribution had a tendency of being in favor of the already well-off since the already-wealthy could provide better guarantees for the loans created out of thin air. Of course, the scale of the monetary redistribution of the 19th century was tiny in comparison with the creation of fiat money today.

That being said, the 19th century was a time of a great industrialization. Railroads and water delivery systems were being built, the steel industry was growing rapidly, and for many entrepreneurial people, it was the chance of a lifetime. Some were more clever and faster than others, so naturally, some people got richer than others in these exciting times of extraordinary growth. But where is the problem if it is the consequence of voluntary interactions? As I noted earlier, inequality is a natural phenomenon. What has to be criticized: if entrepreneurs get subsidies from government or they receive money created out of thin air, then that is a case where one group of people is being forced to benefit another group.

MI: When you looked at Piketty’s book what stood out to you as some of the biggest errors in it?

AM: Piketty’s biggest error is to conclude from the data collected that under capitalism the rich get richer in relation to everyone else. I’m afraid that such a claim is nonsense. Piketty takes his data from a period that is characterized by both capitalism and socialism, and then he attributes everything he dislikes to capitalism. Yet his data is not from a capitalist world. The economic system in which we live today is a crony capitalist system or, we might say, a system of money socialism. And that’s Piketty’s greatest error: to blame capitalism for the negative effects of crony capitalism and money socialism. But perhaps it is no error. Perhaps, he only wants to be loved by politicians and the IMF. I think they love him already, though.

Andreas Marquart is executive director of the Ludwig von Mises Institute Germany. He has been an independent financial consultant for more than 15 years and is a proponent of the Austrian School of economics. See Andreas Marquart's article archives.

You can subscribe to future articles by Andreas Marquart via this RSS feed.

© 2014 Copyright Andreas Marquart - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in